There are estimated 4,200 religions on earth according to reference.com. The main or dominant ones are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism.
In the early 16th Century, Martin Luther, a Saxony Monk initiated the Protestant Reformation Movement that triggered the formations of several other Christian denominations; Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Anglicans—all categorized as Protestants by the once mighty Catholic Church. Lately, the multi-sectarian Born-again Christian groupings sprouted like mushrooms all over the world.
Islam has its own disagreements and was beset with conflicts as it branches out to different sects as well: Sunni, Shi’a, Ibadi, Ahmadiyya, and Sufism.
Judaism, not to be left behind, has Hasidism, kabbalah, Orthodox and Reform Judaism sects.
Since time immemorial, each of these religions and their individual denominations claims to be the true, genuine and the only path to god. Millions had been killed in the name of their faith and belief. Sad to say, it continues unperturbed to this day in spite of the fact that man had already conquered the moon, and now has clearer view of the observable universe composed of trillions of stars, which by mathematical probability may harbor life and put into question their own faith.
The extremists Muslims, in the name of Jihad kill the infidels—the unbelievers of Allah all over the world. The Christian militias in Bosnia brutally slaughtered more than 7,000 Muslim boys and men in the name of ethnic cleansing while tens of thousands of Muslims in Central Africa are victims of Christian vigilantes’ merciless attacks.
And now all of a sudden, President Digong boldly asserted that his god is the GOD of ALL because he has common sense contrary to the “stupid” god of his targeted religion. But in a sense, he is practically claiming that gods of other religions altogether—Jesus Christ, Allah, Buddha, JHWH (Jewish)—are the same “stupid ones” on account of his personal contention that his god, whatever he calls him, is god of gods.
Christians are so forgiving. They believe that when someone throws a stone at them, they will throw bread in return. Had it been “Allah” whom President Digong named instead of the Christian god, it would be catastrophic for him. Instinctively he wouldn’t do that because even the bravest one can be scared of his own shadow!
But of course, he has, like all peace-loving citizens of this democratic country, the constitutional right of religion (he proclaims in one of his rants, jokingly or otherwise, his intention to form one and calls it Iglesia ni Duterte—that is his basic right (no matter how “stupid” it is) and must be respected. However, as all other rights vested on its citizens, that very same right exercised by the President in choosing his own god is only logically and morally permissible if it does not transgress or infringe on other person’s sacred belief in his personal god as guaranteed by the State. In other words, more than that right of religion, RESPECT of individual’s faith, no matter how STUPID it maybe, is inscribed in the fundamental wisdom of decency in a civilized society and should be respected and protected likewise.
True, the president is mandated to ensure the separation of Church and the State, which is embodied in the Constitution. He has that paramount duty to administer that cardinal and overriding mandate bestowed on him to safeguard that underlying statute—no question about it. He is absolutely right in attacking the ever-meddling Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in dipping its finger in almost all the affairs of the State and never letting go in its grip on fanatical flock to preserve its financial interest.
But, the president’s relentless attack should not be confined to the Catholic Church alone, but to all religions that interfere in the State’s affairs, especially to that one sect that peddles its block voting and asks favors in the appointments of its members in the juicy government positions in return.
As president of the land, President Digong should be the unifying force and leave that “stupid” god alone—whatever he is called!